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Orient Beach State Park closes from nor’easter, highway collapses

10/31/2018 4:42 PM |

Saturday’s nor’easter caused a 300-foot long collapse to a section of the entranceway into Orient Beach State Park.

Long Island State Parks spokesman George Gorman said the roadway near Gardiner’s Bay began to erode during the first high tide from the storm. After the second high tide, it collapsed.

“It’s unfortunate,” Mr. Gorman said. “But we’re going to repair it as quickly as possible.”

The New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the New York State Department of Traffic completed an assessment Wednesday and are preparing to address the damages, which will cost up to $1 million dollars to repair, Mr. Gorman said. The state also plans to add security features to the road to avoid future damages.

“We’re going to take measures to protect that roadway so we won’t see any part of it damaged in the future,” he said.

The repairs will be completed in early 2019, he estimated, though it’s dependent on weather conditions and the contractor’s ability to obtain necessary materials.

“It’s a great beach and we want to make sure it’s functional as soon as possible,” he said.

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said the town has no role in the management of the state park and he is unaware of the extent of damages to the park and the timetable for addressing it.

“We are heading into the time of year when this and other parks are lightly used so, hopefully, closing for the season will have a minimal impact on the community at large,” the supervisor said.

Despite chilly temperatures, Mr. Gorman said about 70,000 people use Orient Beach State Park during the winter. It’s not unusual to see these kind of weather damages at Long Island parks, he said.

“We have beaches along the north and south shore, we’re susceptible to ocean currents,” he said. “We’ve seen issues happen at various locations, various parks.”

“I have always found the park to be extremely well-run and am confident that the management there will do the best they can and as quickly as possible to get the park up and running for the community to enjoy,” Mr. Russell added.

Photo caption: Saturday’s nor’easter caused the parkway entrance of Orient Beach State Park to collapse. (Kate Nalepinski photo)

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